Housing Market for 2009

As the first month of 2010 draws to a close we are now getting a good look at how the U.S. housing market closed last year. The just-released new home sales figures for the month of December show a distinct pullback in the small recovery we saw last year. A few weeks back, when I reviewed the November housing data, it was clear a retrenchment was coming. Given that the $8,000 first time home buyers tax credit was set to expire at the end of November 2009, the data for December gives us a glimpse of what was supposed to be the post-expiration hangover period. Even though the tax credit has been extended to this spring and expanded to include new borrowers, the data is coming in as if the tax credit has already expired for good. On top of it all, the Federal Reserve will soon stop its program to purchase mortgages. This will surely send rates soaring just at the wrong time. Or will it? New home sales decline for the third month in a row. [Read the full article]

Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) and 13 national and local non-profit organizations today announced a pilot effort to convince discouraged delinquent borrowers to pursue mortgage workouts that can save their homes and steer clear of foreclosure.

Freddie Mac’s new Borrower Help Centers in Chicago, Phoenix, San Bernardino and Washington, DC are designed to provide free, confidential one-on-one “holistic” mortgage counseling to delinquent Freddie Mac borrowers. The company is also launching a separate Borrower Help Network offering similar counseling over the phone to targeted Freddie Mac borrowers across the nation.

Both efforts rely on non-profit organizations with strong reputations to contact and work with Freddie Mac borrowers who may be eligible for a modification but never called their lender or became frustrated or uncertain of the process and gave up trying. [Read the full article]

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Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) announced today that it plans to launch a $1 billion reopening of its 2.875% five-year USD Reference Notes�(R) security that matures on February 9, 2015.  The issue will price today, Thursday, January 28, 2010, and will settle on February 1, 2010.

The $1 billion reopening of the 2.875% five-year Reference Notes security will be conducted via an Internet-based auction.  The issue, CUSIP 3137EACH0, is listed on the Euro MTF market of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.  After the reopening, the outstanding size of the 2.875% five-year Reference Notes security will be $5 billion.  All auction details can be found on Freddie Mac’s Debt Securities Web page, www.FreddieMac.com/debt/auctionrepurch/auctions.html.

This announcement is not an offer to sell any Freddie Mac securities. [Read the full article]

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